Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Flash Fiction Picture Prompt: Queen Calliope

I was prompted to write this piece of flash fiction for a friend, Katherine Faulcon, who made the picture and requested some writing to go with it. When I looked at her, this just sort of wrote itself. I hope you guys like it. ;)

Queen Calliope

Her newborn laugh resounded like bells and her parents named her Calliope. Golden curls grew around her ivory face. Eyes shone like aquamarines through a thickening fringe of lashes. As a teenager, she hid behind delicate fingers and downcast eyes.
It was particularly this effort to go unnoticed that first drew Charles’s attention. It took him ages to draw up enough courage to speak to her. She was so refined, a princess, no less. He was the son of a nobleman, so he thought himself not hopelessly beneath her, though nearly. He saw her many times before he was brave enough to approach. When he finally did, he could imagine no sound more melodic and pleasurable than her voice. Always soft spoken, her words came forth thoughtful and deliberate.
He sought her out at every social function, monopolizing her attention, though she never seemed to mind. She avoided large groups, though never outwardly uncomfortable, and he sensed that she preferred his solitary presence.
They would sometimes stand on the balcony and discuss a common love of literature beneath the stars. This was where they shared their first kiss. Pale pink lips brushed softly across his, before her cheeks flared with color and his heart nearly escaped his chest.
On their wedding day, she shone brighter than the stars that witnessed their love blossom. Her creamy skin was nearly as pale as her milky white dress. The jewels of her crown made her sky blue eyes sparkle. Her smile revealed her immense happiness at the prospect of spending her life with him. His soul overflowed with love and appreciation at the outstanding luck that he had won her heart.
As time flew by with increasing speed, he found that he loved her more with every passing day, month, year. Their children had children and he was thankful for every second of his blessed life. They still sat on that same balcony, rocking under the stars and speaking of love and literature. They held hands in silence, basking in their shared accomplishments and lives well spent. They gazed into each others’ eyes, content in each others’ arms, even as they shared their last breath, passing peacefully into the afterlife together.

Any ideas or suggestions? I appreciate any and all feedback. Even if you think this sucks, as long as you tell me why you think it sucks. I can't wait to hear from you guys! Comment! Or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and LinkedIn!!! Interaction is what this life is all about.


Kasie Whitener said...

Hey, Becca. I like the idea of her shyness and his insecurity; I like the romance you've laid out here.

This seems like some exposition, though, instead of the real story. Where's the inciting incident -- the thing that flings the story into action? Just thinking you've set the stage for a great story, but haven't really told the story yet.

Just some feedback. Thanks for describing something that makes me want more!

AMelodyGalloway said...

Wow, Becca, talk about compression, from birth to death in half a page. This makes a nice summary of the ideal "Happy Ever After" scenario.

There is one small detail mixup. I think you have her eyes changing color. They are aquamarine at the top and sky blue lower down. Nitpicky, I know.

I know this is supposed to be short (flash fiction after all), but I agree that I'd like some kind of significant challenge along the way. At the moment, it has no conflict other than their shyness.

Anonymous said...

This is great, Becca. You've really packed a lot into one short piece of flash. Your description is lovely. :)

Rebecca Barray said...

Thanks to Kasie, April, and Erin for stopping by!! You guys are right. I guess it's more of a descriptive character summary than a story. It just happened to be what came out when I looked at this picture. Lots of stories played through my head while I thought about what to write for her, but when I started writing, this is what begged to be written.

Thanks to everyone for the feedback!! Keep it coming!!

Oh, and April, since aquamarines and the sky are both light blues that are very close in color, I figured I could use both terms to refer to the light blue of her eyes. ;)

Muddy said...

Hi Rebecca,

Thank you for the piece of love and romance in this story...just what I needed! For this and more, I've nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Read more about it here: http://www.muddyingthewaters.com/

Have a great day!

Jennifer Chow said...

I love flash fiction! Like Muddy, I've nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award as well: http://jenniferjchow.blogspot.com/2012/05/baatgwa-versatile-blogger-award.html

Rebecca Barray said...

Wow!! Thanks girls!! I do love awards... ;)

Veronica Roth said...

Lovely story Becca. It’s rare to find a pure lovely, happy story without any cataclysmic upset. You should ask your friend to illustrate and make a children’s book.